Post by Ann @ frabjous fabrica on Jun 23, 2020 9:50:41 GMT
Ruth asked about our colour mixing techniques in her post feltingandfiberstudio.com/2020/06/23/color-mixing-with-drum-carder/ (not sure if I've got the link right though). It really depends upon the size of the project as far as I'm concerned. If it's a small amount I need for my needlefelt pictures then I use a pair of mini or flick carders (they are actually a pair of dog "combs" which I bought years ago for £1 each). I do mix most of my own colours for these pictures, quite often giving myself a limited pallet for the whole picture. If it's only a tiny amount, then I usually just mix a few fibres in my hand by pulling them apart repeatedly. If I'm making a larger piece that would take too long to mix by mini carders, or even full size hand carders, then I'll start with the drum carder and finish off with either size of hand carder as needed. For a very large piece, for clothing for example, I tend to use the colour/fibre as bought. I find that I can get most colours I need in Merino from Wingham Wool Work in Yorkshire UK or in Bergschaf from Adelaide Walker, also of Yorkshire. (and no I'm not on commission from either of them!)
If I want more than one batt of carded fibres, I write a 'recipe' so that I can make more very similar to the first.
Firstly I choose the colours I want to mix. I lay them on the table in the order that they will be used, then take a photo in case I need it for reference.
Then I start loading the carder deck with a set amount of fine pulls of fibre from the first colour then I turn the handle slowly until the feeder drum has taken it in and I can just about see the ends of the fibres under the feeder drum. I repeat that with all the colours then repeat over and over until the drum carder is full.
Doing it this way I get a constant colour mix right through the batt and it only needs to go through once.
I wanted a gentle variegated blue and a gentle variegated yellow - here's how they turned out.
If I want it well mixed I mix small amounts with my hand carders. Large amounts I go to the big carder but that's not posable for most people. I can do things with it I cant do with the small one. like feed bits of yarn through which get pulled apart and leave splodges of colour. I don't use my hand-cranked drum carder often but wouldn't sell it because I do use it sometimes. I use a blending board for making rolags for spinning. The fibres stay where you put them with no blending and then they blend together in the spinning. I can do it with my hand carders too but you get more rolags at a time on the blending board. Right now I have a borrowed blending board. I am waiting for people to start selling them off cheap.